Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXV: The Need For Uncomfortable Bible Truths In Bible Teaching
(Mark 9:30-32)
  1. Introduction
    1. Not all of the truths that God's Word presents are always palatable or easily understood by God's people.
    2. However, God has commanded that all of His Word be taught, 2 Timothy 4:1-2.
    3. Jesus' uncomfortable teaching about His passion played a crucial role in the disciple's lives and offer us encouragement in fulfilling our duties as teachers or listeners in facing uncomfortable truths in Scripture.
  2. The Need For Uncomfortable Bible Truths In Bible Teaching, Mark 9:30-32.
    1. When Jesus set out for Jerusalem near the close of His earthly ministry, He intentionally bypassed major thoroughfares to avoid crowds, Mark 9:30. He was finished seeking to present the Kingdom to ungodly Israel, and had some private teaching to do with His twelve disciples.
    2. However, this teaching from Jesus was very irrelevant and disquieting for them:
      1. Christ told the twelve about His being killed and then rising again on the third day, Mark 9:31.
      2. When Jesus taught these truths, the disciples shied away from it for several possible reasons, Mk. 9:32:
        1. When Jesus had previously announced His passion, and Peter had rebuked Him for it, Jesus rebuked Satan through Peter to get behind Him, Mark 8:31-33. Thus, the twelve this time, possibly fearing a similar sharp rebuke from Jesus, dared not r espond to this His latest prediction on His sufferings.
        2. Besides, the concept of a suffering and dying Hebrew Messiah would have been unbearable to these Jewish men, so they would not have pursued understanding such teaching, B.K.C., N.T., p. 145.
        3. Also, teaching regarding suffering and death is innately negative anyway, so the disciples were further disposed not to pursue understanding its difficult meaning!
    3. Besides, this teaching seemed to be an irrelevant, fruitless exercise: though Jesus pursued other questionable issues the men faced, He did not pursue this teaching on His passion extensively with them :
      1. When the twelve privately argued who was the greatest disciple, Jesus addressed this issue, 9:33-35.
      2. Yet He did not clarify His passion prophecy though He thus knew they didn't understand it, Mark 9:32.
      3. Thus, at the time, Jesus appeared to be performing an irrelevant, fruitless teaching exercise.
    4. Yet, in spite of the seeming pointlessness about this teaching exercise at the time, in the plan of God, it became an invaluable blessing to the Church:
      1. This prediction at this time following the resurrection demonstrated that Jesus was God's true prophet as His prophecy had them come true.
      2. This prediction later revealed that Jesus had not accidentally died, for He had ample time and awareness to have fled and not traveled toward Jerusalem. In reality, this prophecy later became a powerful witness to the credibility of the entire Christian faith.
      3. When later choosing a replacement for Judas in Acts 1:21-22, the eleven made as a qualification one who had witnessed Christ's resurrection BEGINNING WITH THE BAPTISM OF JOHN that would encompass such pre-passion prophecies by Jesus as recorded in Mark 9:30-32!
      4. Accordingly, Jesus' Mark 9 passion prediction had great effect when later RECALLED!
Lesson: All of the Bible's truths, even that which seems to be unappetizing or uncomfortable at the time, are INVALUABLE in view of the LONG-TERM picture of God's program. We may not know at the time their value, but we cannot see the whole pictur e as we do not know the details of God's overall plans. Thus, (a) as a Bible teacher, GIVE the truth God wants us to give irrespective of how uncomfortable or pointless it may seem at the time and trust His leading to make it worthwhile in the end. (b) As a hearer of the taught Word, accept the difficult teachings as they will undoubtedly be of enormous benefit in later days!

Application: More than one believer has expressed thanksgiving to another Christian who witnessed to them in a hardened condition before they knew the Lord, or witnessed the truth before they were ready to receive it. If it is God's Word and God's leading, trust the long-term effect and teach it!